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    The end of RadioShack?

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    GP49

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    The end of RadioShack?

    Post by GP49 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:40 pm

    It seems like it's been many years during which we in the USA have been watching the decline and fall of RadioShack.

    But now it really looks like the end is near:

    (Bloomberg) -- RadioShack Corp. is preparing to shut down the almost-century-old retail chain in a bankruptcy deal that would sell about half its store leases to Sprint Corp. and close the rest, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

    The locations sold to Sprint would operate under the wireless carrier’s name, meaning RadioShack would cease to exist as a stand-alone retailer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public.

    The negotiations could still break down without a deal being reached, or the terms could change. Sprint and RadioShack also have discussed co-branding the stores, two of the people said. It’s also possible that another bidder could emerge that would buy RadioShack and keep it operating, the people said. The Chinese backers who took the Brookstone chain out of bankruptcy, Sanpower Group, also have been in discussions about bidding for RadioShack assets, one person familiar with the talks said.

    The discussions represent the endgame for a chain that traces its roots to 1921, when it began as a mail-order retailer for amateur ham-radio operators and maritime communications officers. It expanded into a wider range of electronics over the decades, and by the 1980s was seen as a destination for personal computers, gadgets and components that were hard to find elsewhere. In more recent years, though, competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and an army of e-commerce sellers hurt customer traffic.

    NYSE Suspension

    In a sign of RadioShack’s escalating woes, the New York Stock Exchange said Monday it would suspend trading of the stock immediately. The exchange took the step after RadioShack failed to submit a business plan that would address its lack of compliance with NYSE rules...

    Full story:  

    RadioShack in Talks to Sell Half Its Stores to Sprint, Shutter the Rest


    Last edited by GP49 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:40 am; edited 1 time in total

    PeterCapo

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by PeterCapo on Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:56 pm

    It would be a loss.

    j beede

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by j beede on Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:53 pm

    This is not good. I can think of many times, usually late on a Sunday afternoon, I found myself in need of some basic component to complete a repair or project... maybe a small coupling cap, an AGC5 fuse, a TIP31 bjt for a NAD power supply, you name it. The availability of such things (within 10-20 minutes from just about anywhere) even on a weekend is something that I will miss--assuming the seemingly inevitable happens. At least I won't have to hear people refer to this venerable and flawed resource as "Rat Shack" anymore.

    Olson. Lafayette. Allied (retail). Radio Shack.


    GP49

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by GP49 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:30 pm

    It is sure nice to have a source of NEW small parts in emergencies, rather than raiding the used ones in the pile of old circuit boards and chassis in the garage.

    However the Radio Shack in my town is next to useless, with know-nothing drones as employees and a poor stock, always running out of common items.

    Twelve miles away is a really GOOD one with knowledgeable help and a good stock...the manager even lays in a supply of useful stuff when he sees it's about to be discontinued.

    Cubdriver

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by Cubdriver on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:01 pm

    The ones local to me have been useless for years now.  You might (if you get lucky) find a resistor or cap that you need, but more likely than not they won't have it.  They'll try to sell you a cell phone plan, though.  I'll miss what they were twenty or thirty years ago, but not what they've become recently.

    -Pat

    audiobill

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by audiobill on Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:14 am

    IMO, they offer useless overpriced junk sold by clueless associates that I desperately need at times......

    GP49

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by GP49 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:29 am

    The "clueless associates" problem goes way back.  It seemed to hinge on the management of the individual store whether drones, or truly useful salespersons were hired.  

    At one time I lived midway between two Radio Shack stores (back when the company name was two words) in the same town.  In one..the busier one...I saw a salesperson demonstrate radio scanners to a customer, comparing features for him for most of an hour, without any reassurance that the customer would not then go mail order a Uniden instead.  But the Radio Shack salesperson persisted and won the sale when he pointed out that the equivalent Uniden had its own rechargeable, dedicated battery pack...and that once it was dead, it would take several hours to recharge, whereas the Radio Shack scanner used replaceable AA batteries, available anywhere.

    Around the same time I dropped into the other store on the way from someplace to someplace else, to look for some rubber feet for a chassis project...even though I knew this one had drones, knownothings working there.  A pimplefaced kid greeted me and asked what I wanted.  I told him, "rubber feet."  He showed me the bottom of one of his tennis shoes and laughed.

    Those I feel for if RadioShack folds up: the few remaining franchise stores that are being run competently.  There is one near my in-laws.  It is owned and operated by a former repair technician.  It does a better business than the company owned store a few miles away in a shopping mall.  He keeps his stock current and maintains what he can of small repair parts, between the RadioShack catalogue items and those he buys from other sources (being an independent, a franchisee, he can do that).  Yes, most of his business is still cellphones, gadgets, computer accessories, batteries, consumer items.  But as in most of the rest of the country, there are no more local elecronics parts retailers and he has remembered that.  The Radio Shack associates franchise program was originally meant to spread the Radio Shack brand to small communities, where a corner of a store selling other products could become a Radio Shack outlet.  But in many places those franchises became successful in themselves, almost full-service Radio Shack stores.  Today, few remain, but those that do face a nonexistent future if RadioShack goes under.

    sKiZo

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:38 pm

    They haven't been much more than a phone store for some time now. Most everything else they've got on the shelves is bottom end big box store kind of stuff.

    Shame really ... lot of history goes behind the name.

    http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/history.html

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones ... local store ain't half bad, and counter guy's been there long enough he knows what little they've got for the DIY crowd ... but know exactly what they got, and exactly where it is ...

    deepee99

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:24 pm

    A doggone shame. I remember when they bought out Allied Radio of Knight-Kit fame; Tandy was a pioneer in the personal computing biz. In fact, you ask any old-time computer geek and they'll tell you TRS-DOS was far superior to the MS-DOS iteration. Used to enjoy reading their CEO's rants in the catalogue.
    My first "real" computer was a TRS-80 Model 100, the world's first genuine laptop, built by Kyocera. Ran on 4 penlite batteries, 8-line LCD screen, 24K of RAM and 24K of ROM, acoustic couplers so a newspaper reporter could phone in his story from his favourite pub at 300 baud. Cost me close to a kilobuck but worth every nickel. Then upgraded to the 200 with the pop-up screen and 16 lines of LCD and a spreadsheet program.
    Dunno where RS dropped the ball. Or maybe Gates just outwitted them.
    Guess now if I need a 1k ohm resistor I'll have to buy 200 of them on-line to justify the shipping.




    colin86325

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by colin86325 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:29 pm

    It's a shame. Although the other comments about clueless associates and it being a phone store are true, sometimes you need a component on Sunday to finish a repair. I recently stopped by Radioshack on a Sunday and bought a couple of capacitors to fix my odometer. I liked the convenience and immediacy of having a local store vs ordering online and waiting several days.

    sKiZo

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:35 pm

    Unfortunately, hobby supplies were the first to go. I just checked the local RatShack for some 8.2k resistors I need to move forward on a project ... no luck. At least Mouser now has a $5 flat rate option.

    PS ... current project ...



    (Hope I can remember how it goes back together)  ;-?

    Cubdriver

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by Cubdriver on Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:42 pm

    Meh - Skizo, any extra pieces that are left over just go in the garbage pail... Wink

    -Pat

    j beede

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by j beede on Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:50 pm

    Is your local Radio Shack a suitable substitute for Parts Express or Mouser? No, not even close.

    If you are a true DIYer you are well familiar with the phrase: "everything you need is available at Radio Shack". I have built guitar stomp pedals and high speed camera triggers from start to finish over a weekend while the lights were off at Mouser or Newark... thanks Radio Shack! With that I will yield to the "Rat Shack" haters Neutral

    bluerondo

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by bluerondo on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:02 pm

    My local store is well stocked. Going to miss them although some parts were cheap but very convenient.

    Maintarget

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by Maintarget on Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:03 pm

    Electronic DIY'ers are getting to be a rare breed in this throw it away world too bad use to love going there when I was a kid to check out all the parts, kit's and stereo equipment. Laughing

    gener8r

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by gener8r on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:56 pm

    Sad, just plain sad.  I could still get wire, or a desoldering pump, or soldering iron tips, or solder, and they always seem to have parts bins that although not well stocked or abundant came through in a pinch most of the time.  What I won't miss is the constant asking of my name/address/phone number at the register when I'm paying with cash.

    kaner

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by kaner on Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:36 am

    It is sad. My parts bin is made up of "recycled" parts stolen from Goodwill finds and RadioShack pots, switches, caps and resistors. I had to learn to brush past the 19 year old pushing cell phone plans and battery deals to get to the parts drawers, but it was worth it to get the resistor I needed to get my weekender up and running.

    I'll miss them, but I can understand that a business that relied on a hard sell for $10 batteries was doomed.

    Kaner

    richtp

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by richtp on Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:06 am

    Well as much as I complain about Cell Phone Shack, this news bums me out! As limited as it was on electronics parts, Radio Shack bails me out on a daily basis for work and play!I bought my first kit there around 1972 when I was a little kid, a crystal radio kit! Been going there since. I stop in a Radio Shack often to look through the drawers. I will miss the place.

    GP49

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by GP49 on Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:22 am

    94 year old RadioShack filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015.

    But it will not totally disappear.  The stores not being closed will be co-branded with Sprint, a section selling RadioShack merchandise. But how likely are they to carry small parts?

    MontanaWay

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by MontanaWay on Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:39 am

    well I can't speak for Radio Shack in the old days, but I always thought, and to be quite frank, they were pretty useless and outrageously expensive when it came to electronic parts.
    I have bought CB related stuff, as well as soldering related stuff from them, and in those areas they were OK.
    Still, it is sad to see an icon disappear, the ability to purchase so much online these days really does make it difficult for retailers like Radio Shack to survive!

    deepee99

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:22 pm

    Radium Shack used to be an anchor, with JC Penny, Sears and others, of the big-box shopping malls and pulled out of small towns. Here in Wallace, Idaho, pop. 900 or thereabouts, we used to have all in small single-handed storefronts.
    Then the old guys died or sold out, the nose-pickers took over, and they moved to big shopping malls 100 miles away just as e-commerce started its groundwork. Somebody shoulda seen that train-wreck coming.

    richtp

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by richtp on Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:36 pm

    On the plus side I stopped at a Radio Shack today to pick up a transformer for work and they said their store was staying open. He didn't think anything would change in the pair s section.
    I wish Olson electronics was still around! Fortunately I found an old electronics store that has about 2 rows of shelves in the back room full of new old stock capacitors. It's fun just going through the stuff, it's disorganized and you need a flashlight to find anything.And reasonable priced. Only problem is its almost 80 miles from my home.

    bluerondo

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by bluerondo on Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:41 pm

    I check the WSJ list and my RS (Irvine CA) isn't on the target list. It is always well stocked, has the great parts bins that I have only seen in this store in the local area. I hope they keep some of these parts after the change.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/qPkPVr]


    Last edited by bluerondo on Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

    deepee99

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:10 pm

    Best thing one can do is locate a retired TV repairman. Likely his basement is well stocked with the kind of stuff we need, that he took home after the bank cashiered him. My old guy had a half-dozen New Jersey Tung-Sol 6550s at the original price of $6.50 per each and was actually willing to sell them to me for that. I gave him a bit of a lecture about inflation and supply and demand and we squared up at $65 each, he was happy and I left with my karma intact.

    Brap

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    Re: The end of RadioShack?

    Post by Brap on Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:06 pm

    Yeah, sad but over the years, service has really gone down hill. Solder or heat shrink tubing is about all they were good for or maybe a stocking stuffer or two. I had to almost re-shuffle all their resistor cabinets one time looking for a single 1.5K without buying an entire fleet of resistors since they didn't have simple values as singles anymore. Growing up in chi-Town, loved going to the original Allied store and walking all six stories finding tons of stuff for kits. Recall they had a great selection of plastic cabinets to make DIY kits from electronics magazines. Also miss Olson electronics on 95th street where I got my first stereo, Electro-voice receiver and speakers and Garrard TT. Memories. Now the only local place will be Fry's which have a decent selection or go on-line. Too bad for RS but their business model really took a turn for the worse. Even Shaq couldn't help them!!!

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